Slow Money Maine to hold third annual daylong event

Nov 13, 2012
Coastal Farms and Foods Processing Facility in Belfast to be featured on a tour at Slow Money Maine's third annual daylong event.

Belfast — Slow Money Maine will hold its third annual daylong event on Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Once again, offerings will include engaging food system presenters, lively discussions, healthful lunch and extended networking opportunities. Participants will also have options for afternoon tours to Bahner Farm and Coastal Farms and Foods Processing in the Belfast area.

The morning session will include 8-minute samplings of varied farm and business endeavors, including Tide Mill and Ararat Farms, Genesis Community Loan Fund, and MOOMilk. Tate McPherson will present plans for a grain elevator project in Aroostook County and Mark Fulford will describe options for equipment to serve small and mid-scale grain producers throughout the state.

In other presentations, John Sharood of Slow Money Maine will share intentions to create an ag-focused statewide credit union and Dorothy Suput of The Carrot Project in Boston will speak on “How Financing is Growing Farmer Capacity in the New England Region.”

Local Sprouts from Portland, Barrels Community Market from Waterville and the Belfast Co-op will provide tasty, healthful food throughout the day.

Slow Money Maine is a statewide network coordinated by Bonnie Rukin, and guided by a 10-person Steering Committee. It encourages anyone interested in building local sustainable food systems to participate.

In its two years of existence, the network now has more than 500 participants and has helped to catalyze the flow of $3.9 million dollars to Maine’s ag sector, focused on infrastructure businesses and food hubs. These funds have been in the form of loans, equity and grants. Additionally, we have developed countless personal and professional connections through regular gatherings and our cross-sector collaborations have been creative and effective.

One result of these connections has been a variety of individual and group initiatives related to marketing, distribution, technical assistance, farm to camp programs, and funding strategies.

It also spun off an investment club called No Small Potatoes where members invest a minimum of $5,000 and pool funds to make microloans to local farmers and producers. These investments, now totaling $50,000, have helped meet needs for inventory, equipment and working capital and have served over 40 farms directly and indirectly.

Partnerships with Foundations and economic development groups throughout the state have been enhanced by legal guidelines and helped to create for philanthropic support of for profit businesses in the ag sector.

To register for the gathering visit www.eventbrite.com/event/4325363278

To learn more about Slow Money Maine visit www.slowmoneymaine.org

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